November 17 isn’t like any other day on the calendar. Today is Life Day. The celebration of life, family, and friends was introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978. Life Day originated on Kashyyyk, and Wookiees have a few customs on the momentous day. They don red robes, carry Life Day orbs, and visit the great Tree of Life to honor all of their relatives — alive and deceased.
Though we may not live anywhere near Kashyyyk or the Inner Rim planets, we can still celebrate Life Day today and throughout the months of November and December. Pretend your Christmas tree is the Tree of Life, wear red Snuggies while you watch the holiday special, and make a festive and rustic Life Day wreath to hang on your front door.
I have a couple of wreath designs for you to try and both of them can be completed in just a few hours. You can find all the supplies at your local craft store; be sure to gather everything you need before beginning.
Wookiee Life Day Wreath – inspired by Star Wars Galaxies
Heart-shaped grapevine wreath
Hemp or twine
Hot glue gun and glue
Red beads or painted rocks
Red, lighted LED ribbon garland or any red LEDs
Working with grapevine is messy so don’t do what I did and craft on your living room rug. Stick with a floor that’s easy to sweep. That caution out of the way, the first task is to break off the point of the heart so that the wreath has more of a teardrop shape. Unwind the grapevine wrapped around the point (use scissors when necessary), and carefully break off the parts of the wreath that curve in. Go slowly and break the wreath away from you. Put on safety goggles and thick gloves if it will make you feel more comfortable. You can score thicker pieces of vine with your scissors before you break them. If you have access to power tools, you can use those to cut off the point of the heart.
With the point of the heart gone, it’s time to wrap the bottom together to get that teardrop-ish shape. Add about six-seven inches of twig garland to fill the bottom of the wreath out and wrap it all together with hemp or twine. Tie off the hemp or twine with a knot and secure the knot with hot glue. You can see the difference in the wreath in above picture. Use two short bunches of twig garland on either side of the wreath to fill it out (see above right photo). Glue the base of each twig bunch together and hot glue the bunches to the wreath. When the glue is completely dry, gently fan out the twigs to add width.
Hang red beads or painted rocks from the bottom of the wreath with hemp or twine. Plastic red beads that look like rocks work well but painted rocks (as long as they aren’t too heavy) or even ones made from polymer clay would also do the trick. Tie hemp or twine around the middle of the rocks and add glue to secure it. Then tie the rocks to the wreath. Again, secure your knots with hot glue.
This Life Day wreath needs red LEDs. Whether you find a strand of red LEDs or do what I did and strip the strand from lighted ribbon, carefully wind the LEDs around the wreath. Remember you will need to have a place for the battery pack once you hang the wreath. I’ve found using a piece of double-sided tape to attach the battery pack to the door works well.
Life Day Wreath II, The Wreath Strikes Back
12” round grapevine wreath
2” clear plastic ornament that you can open
Sheer blue ribbon
Hemp or twine
Hot glue gun and glue
Every Life Day wreath needs a Life Day orb. Remove the metal top of the ornament and insert sheer blue ribbon. Adjust the placement of the ribbon with a pen. Replace the metal top. Since silver metal doesn’t scream rustic, apply hot glue to the metal top and wrap hemp or twine around it to cover it. Set your Life Day orb aside. Bonus: if you can find mini blue or white LEDs to fit inside your orb, go for it.
Add some Wookiee touches to your wreath by making three bundles from the twig garland. Break off three small sections, wrap them around the middle with hemp or twine (as always, glue your knots to secure them), and glue the bunches of twigs at different angles wherever you’d like on the wreath. I think they’re reminiscent of Wookiee fur.
Wrap red ribbon around your wreath to symbolize the red robes. Start at the bottom of the wreath and glue one end into place. Wind the ribbon around the entire wreath and glue the other end.
Pick up your Life Day orb and tie it to the top of the wreath with hemp or twine. Remember, hot glue is your friend.
Happy Life Day! Head to the comments and let me know how you plan on celebrating this holiday. If you make wreaths, be sure to post links to photos or send them to me on Twitter.